Wambach: Solo’s ‘cowards’ comment was ‘playground stuff’

The Equalizer Staff September 16, 2016 233

Abby Wambach says she disagrees with how Hope Solo classified Sweden as “a bunch of cowards” after the United States women’s national team’s loss in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Wambach, appearing on the Dan Patrick Show before the third stop on her book tour promoting her recently released memoir, called Solo’s words “playground stuff.”

“I have big problems [with] that,” Wambach said. “You never call another team coward after you’ve just been beaten. The rules in the game are the rules in the game, and you don’t want to be a sore loser – not when you’re the best team in the world. That, to me, looks weak.

“When you’re pointing fingers at another team that just beat you and calling them cowards, that’s like playground stuff. Be a professional. Stand up and say, ‘you know what, they beat us at our own game. They played better than us today.’ Call a spade a spade. If I were Sweden, it’s exactly what I would have done. It’s exactly the team Sweden has always been, and the team Sweden has always been known to play. That’s the way that they’ve always played.”

[MORE: Wambach says in memoir that she abused alcohol, prescription drugs]

Solo, 35, was suspended for six months by U.S. Soccer and had her national-team contract terminated after making the remarks about Sweden. She soon after announced she would not play again this year for Seattle Reign FC, and her playing future remains in doubt.

U.S. Soccer said that the suspension and contract termination were a result of an accumulation of missteps by the goalkeeper. Solo suggested that it was a form of retaliation for her role as one of the more outspoken players in the team’s ongoing negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, which expires at the end of the year.

Wambach retired last year as a two-time Olympic gold-medalist, a World Cup champion and the all-time leader in career international goals for a man or a woman with 184. She was the 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year.

Wambach described her “love-hate relationship” with Solo as that of sisters: sometimes they got on each others’ nerves and argued a lot, acknowledging that they are both big personalities. Wambach and Solo played together on the national team from 2001-2015.

Asked if she liked Solo as a teammate, Wambach said: “That is a very pointed question. I think that I respected her ability on the field. Hope and I clashed a lot, right? We butted heads.”

Wambach said Solo was the best goalkeeper she ever played alongside.

Something missing in Brazil

 

Abby Wambach says the U.S. lacked "soul" in its quarterfinal Olympic exit. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Abby Wambach says the U.S. lacked “soul” in its quarterfinal Olympic exit. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Wambach, also said that she thought the U.S. women were lacking an identity at the Olympics.

“I think that they just got really tight. They got nervous. I think that they weren’t performing that well throughout the tournament; they had moments of doing well, but overall, for me, they didn’t have a soul. They kind of looked like a team that were trying to define themselves, but were trying too hard, if that makes sense.”

But Wambach says when asked that the aforementioned “soul” that was missing this year was not her.

“I have nothing but love and respect, and I know how hard it is to play on this stage. And I know everything has to come and happen perfectly to advance in big championship games, but I do think that something was missing. And it’s not me, it was just something. There was this thing that was missing that I couldn’t put my finger on.”

Addressing her health

Wambach’s memoir, which was released on Tuesday, is a candid story about the side of her life most people never knew. She admits that she was addicted to alcohol and prescription drugs of years, but she has said that she has been sober since her April 3 DUI arrest in Portland.

She reiterated on Thursday’s appearance on the Dan Patrick Show that the looming end of her soccer career exasperated her downward spiral as she tried to come to grips with no longer having soccer.

  • Cc W

    I understand she has a book to promote, but she really shouldn’t say too much about Hope’s comments given her “foreigner” comment about the men’s team. For me, that comment was much more offensive than Hope’s. Remember when Abby told us to forget her – I’ve obliged.

    • Steglitz49

      Which foreigner and which men’s team? Ireland’s?

      • Cc W

        It was in regards to the USMNT – that Jurgen shouldn’t be using foreign born US players – who have citizenship because a parent is American.

        • Steglitz49

          She is too young to remember Jack Charlton obviously. Or, forgot him because he was an Englishman managing Ireland.

        • Lorehead

          Yes; I shouldn’t even be considered for a spot on the USMNT, but that isn’t because I’m foreign-born.

          • mockmook

            “because I’m foreign-born”

            I knew it!!! You and Obama!!! 😉

          • Steglitz49

            I though Obama was born in Hawaii.

          • Chak Khan

            We are still waiting for the clarification.

        • Chak Khan

          Sidney Leroux?

          • Cc W

            That was the irony of her comment – as her best friend was in the same situation as Jones and others

  • Steglitz49

    Listen to the woman because she speaks words of wisdom.

    • Cc W

      She isn’t wise at all

      • Steglitz49

        “You never call another team coward after you’ve just been beaten. The rules in the game are the rules in the game, and you don’t want to be a sore loser – not when you’re the best team in the world. That, to me, looks weak.” — looks spot on to this bear of little brain.

        Not least after your glovetrick did not work.

        • Chak Khan

          What do you have to say about Brianna Curry’s diversion during the 99 final match against CHI?

          • Steglitz49

            I can’t remember her calling anyone a coward but inept refereeing cost Sweden a win in regulation. The extra half hour may have cost Sweden the extra half hour against Brazil which meant facing Germany with an hour more of playing plus that Sweden did not get the ranking points that were Sweden’s due. Indeed, Germany should be ranked #1 now.

          • Chak Khan

            You keep harping on Hope’s glove trick diversion. It’s part of the tactics. Had it been a success you wouldn’t drag it on. Let it GOOOOOOOO, already, man. We all already know you have no heart of Hope nor the USWNT. Move forward…something best soccer players have learnt to do.

          • Steglitz49

            Hope tried sportsmanship with the 20 year old Saki Kumagai in 2011. It did not work.

            Unfortunately — or fortunately, depending on your view — it worked in WC-15.

            That chicken has come home to roost, it seems.

          • Chak Khan

            The glove trick and parking the bus are part of the tactics. Ugly as they are. Still. Smart players learn to go with the flow.

          • mockmook

            I’d call things like the glove trick “harmless” gamesmanship.

            It adds tension, adds drama to the sport. It is part of the entertainment — and sports must be entertaining if they want to pay their players.

          • Steglitz49

            The glove trick was below contempt. WoSo can do without such garbage.

          • Chak Khan

            Again (and the last time) glove trick does not break any rule. PK to determine a winner is garbage. Play to death. Last survivors win. That IS a beautiful game.

          • Steglitz49

            As I noted elsewhere, FIFA used the Golden Goal for a dozen years and then abandoned it. The GG was given a lot of time — enough rope to hang itself, you might conclude.

          • Chak Khan

            And the reason for its removal?

          • Steglitz49

            Ask FIFA. They tried it for long enough before they dropped it. FIFA persevered with the pso, though.

          • Chak Khan

            Can FIFA still be trusted to make wise decisions?!! I thought the reason was because the games would drag on and fans are not known to be patient.

          • Steglitz49

            After 2×15 min extra time, it was penalties if no goal had been scored.

          • Chak Khan

            I know. I just want PK removed.

          • Steglitz49

            The Golden Goal went but the pso stayed. I doubt that that will change. The fans have got used to it and the networks like it.

          • Steglitz49

            The glove trick is beyond contempt. A blow below the belt. That is, of course, part of the reason why her “cowards-Speech” rebounded on her with such venom.

          • Chak Khan

            Is it against soccer rule? If no, then “contempt” only in your viewpoint. For fans who like “the beautiful game” and pay money to watch it parking the bus is not “beyond contempt”. Again, does any of these tactics break the rule?

          • Chak Khan

            Some tactics work some of the time, i.e. SWE abandoned the bus to come and actually played against GER for the Gold. Nothing is new under the soccer’s sun.

    • Terry Lash

      I wouldn’t call it “wisdom.” But, yes, Solo’s comment was school yard talk. But it also was relatively harmless compared to Wambach’s last few, dissipated years on the WNT. Also, strange Wambach did not comment on the Rapinoe controversy.

      • Blah

        So harmless it cost Solo her position on the best team in woso.

        • Terry Lash

          I don’t think we are sure why she received such a severe punishment. Ellis and US Soccer have been vague about the reasons, other than saying it was due to a series of issues. Some close followers of the USWNT believe that something happened in the locker room that pushed Ellis to seek Solo’s suspension, but no one seems to be opining based on facts. In any event, Solo calling the Swedish team cowards was much less of an offense than Wambach’s flopping.

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe less of an offense to north-Americans but neither the USSF nor JE could have been happy when they heard that staff in Swedish TV-studios were wearing T-shirts with variously “I am going to Rio; she is going home” and “We are going to Rio; they are going home” printed on them.

            Nobody likes to lose but be held up to public ridicule and be made a laughing stock of, cannot have pleased anyone.

          • necron99

            And yet the various Swedish national team players that have been asked about it have defended Solo and said that she should not be removed from the USWNT…. strange that you are more offended than they are. Well not really strange their are a lot of voices in your head.

          • Steglitz49

            Que?

            Lotta Schelin, who has known Solo since they played together in Göteborg and Lotta’s family used to invite Hope for the holidays and such like, merely deflected questions to her about Hope, saying that she and Hope had been been friends for years and Swedes had no reason to pick a quarrel with with Hope. Instead the SWNT must concentrate on the next step and the task that lay ahead.

            Here is a charming conversation between Lotta and Hope from a while back:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfGkZQ1uNTg

          • Terry Lash

            True. But fan/Swedish team reaction should not be the basis of punishment.

          • Steglitz49

            Hope owed her career to Pia Sundhage. After the debacle of 2007 a new coach may well have left Hope an outcast. Instead Pia worked with her and Hope had a glorious career thanks to Pia.

            When a Swedish TV reporter asked Pia what she thought of Hope’s cowards-words, Pia spontaneously replied in Swedish, which translated was: “I do not give a crap what she thinks. I am going to Rio; she is going home.”

            As for the Swedish team, they said nothing. Lotta made some soothing noises — please see my earlier reply.

            It is not a good idea to bite the hand that fed you. Sore losers leave a sour taste not least when they engaged in blatant gamesmanship.

          • Terry Lash

            Sorry. Misread your previous comment. Please substitute staff in Swedish TV studios for Swedish team in my comment.

          • Steglitz49

            Sow the wind; reap the whirlwind.

            Players like ARod and Syd who made themselves unavailable for selection, must be glad that they invested their time and energy into another venture.

            Alex will survive. She scored after all. As for the rest of them, might as well get rid of them asap.

          • Terry Lash

            The first step is to get a new coach, but we can surmise this won’t happen and then your preferred option to rid of the lot of the players won’t happen either.

            How much of a smoke screen is the punishment of Solo to distract from the team’s disastrous performance. Ellis just keeps quiet about her failed strategy against Sweden and feeds the press and public a story about how bad Solo is. Reality TV type stuff.

          • Steglitz49

            Germany kept faith with Neid even after the debacle on home soil. No doubt it helped that Japan became champions of the world because no shame in losing by one goal to the future champs.

            Ellis strategy may have been at fault but so is Carli in not seeing that what they were trying did not work. Instead she took freekicks away from Tobin! The Swedes must have breathed sighs of relief.

            Yes. Hope seems to have put up a smoke-screen but did not expect to be pushed on to her sword and then rammed from behind for good measure.

            This would be a good time to put up the head coach’s job for auction. Any incoming coach of quality would have her/his agent ensure that the contract gives her/him a free hand. Who would take on the challenge though?

          • Chak Khan

            No one. Not for $250 grand per year with all undue pressure. On the other hand, $1.2 billion per year salary while losing, you would be a fool not to take that job.

          • Steglitz49

            Pia earns a lot less in Sweden while Sylvia Neid earned a lot more in Germany. I don’t know what either Sasaki or Pellerud earned.

          • Chak Khan

            In other countries when their WNTs lose, their fans don’t lynch the head coaches, staff and players; here in the US we do. Our mantra is “Win ALWAYS”. No wonder we don’t improve.

          • Gary Diver

            What is the answer? “Staying the course” is not the answer. For USWNT to improve and have a chance to win WC19 something has to change. (Other teams are making major changes for WC19: China, Japan, and France have changed coaches and Canada has changed players.)

          • Chak Khan

            Changes are good when done effectively; change for the sake of change brings the opposite. Clean slate is not necessarily good for the USWNT, which seems like the majority wants. Where are the proof that prove youth and speed combo win the games?

          • Chak Khan

            None has a new team with all new players. France new head coach, I read the NT is not thrilled at all.

          • Steglitz49

            Ever heard of Italy, Germany or England?

          • Chak Khan

            Their WNTs?

          • Steglitz49

            Lynch may be too harsh a word but severely criticize applies. You can add Sweden to that list.

          • Chak Khan

            same difference

          • Steglitz49

            from what?

          • So I been told

            I was told by someone close to a player that Solo had a written agreement with USSF regarding her behavior that I suspect USSF must have felt that Solo violated with her comment.

          • Terry Lash

            Certainly seems plausible. If there was an agreement, however, was doesn’t Ellis/US Soccer just say so. Maybe there is confidentiality of the specific terms of such an agreement, but that one exists ought to be OK to make public.

        • Chak Khan

          “cowards” in public. What was used in the locker room? 99ers admitted to calling the Norway players “bitches”. No one got run over by a bus.

          • Steglitz49

            Norway won in 1995 and 2000.

            In the 1995 final Sylvia Neid played for Germany and Even Pellerud coached Norway. Twenty years later they met again in a WC as coaches. It ended 1-1 with Maren Mjelde’s amazing freekick.

      • Excuses..Excuses

        Speaking of Rapinoe: What did she have to say in regards to Abby’s comments about “foreigners”on the USMNT, which many people, myself included, considered bigoted and low-key racist? Hmmm

  • guest

    Abby will say … “on her book tour promoting her recently released memoir” whatever helps her generate media coverage and helps her book sales

    • Chak Khan

      Did Mia Hamm have a book tour to promote her book? Did it bomb?

      • Karla Fay

        Mia Hamm was painfully shy and introverted, what makes you think she would go and promote a book by going on radio, holding bookstore signings, and endless interviews?

        • Steglitz49

          Was Mia shy or just taciturn?

          • Chak Khan

            Shy or not, she is wise about not letting the public spotlight control her life on and off the field. A rare gem is she.

          • Steglitz49

            Quite a lot of athletes succeed in that. Those who have the easiest ride are generally those who built the best relations with the Fourth Estate, who then return the favors.

        • Chak Khan

          I just wanted to be sure what I read about Mia Hamm was true. She did not need to create any drama to be under the spotlight. The spotlight found her and she knew how to manage it with class. The current players should learn it from the generation of Mia Hamm, HAO, etc. I am not talking about skills here.

    • Guest

      As opposed to doing what? Hoping her book fails and trying to make sure it tanks? Why the hell wouldn’t she try and promote it?

    • uh

      Pretty sure Julie Foudy didn’t have a book to hawk when she (rightfully) drilled Hope Solo for her behavior.

  • Chak Khan

    So USWNT players are humans with different personalities, opinions, etc. And that is news to the mass who have been duped into believing those women are the perfect girls next door. When the images are shown with human flaws, everyone goes into shock, “They are fallible humans?!! We won’t allow it!!! THis is a NT after all!!!”

  • Hwah

    So, we are finally realizing it’s not just a ‘pony-tail brigade’, or whatever the phrase is, but we’re only inching along.

    For me, Wambach seems to have no problem pissing on Solo when she thinks it is beneficial to her but then, alternatively, embracing Solo when it is beneficial to her. In my opinion, there’s nothing heroic about that.

    Also, Abby at the WWC 2015 displayed several examples of poor sportsmanship, as I recall first, she said the only reason she wasn’t scoring was because of turf, not her own personal failing. Second, I recall after the game where Rapinoe and Holiday picked up their second yellow cards, she went on a tirade against the bias of the ref. As I recall, it was pretty clear she was forced to come out and make an apology for that statement, lest she be suspended for her own unsportmanlike behavior. Let’s not even get into to ridiculous flopping. I don’t recall any of her teammates calling her out for any of that nonsense.

    So, I feel no need to listen to Wambach’s lectures about what is right for the sport, nor applaud her ‘courage’ in taking a stand against Solo’s comments.

    Having said all that, I do hope she defeats her demons and wish her well on her path to recovery.

    • uh

      Congrats on defending an abuser.

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        Ikr?

        “upvote”

  • Gary Diver

    Ridiculous Hope Solo Saga

    Nice thing about EQ is that we can go back to the scene of the crime. Go back to the original EQ article about Solo’s comments and see who said what.

    http://equalizersoccer.com/2016/08/12/hope-solo-sweden-cowards-uswnt-loses-rio-olympics-pia-sundhage/

    At the time very few people were really upset and nobody called for Solo to be turfed. Many thought her comments were poorly worded and a few thought they were stupid, but NOBODY was calling for her head.

    The real issue was bunker soccer becoming the norm for good teams to utilize. Women do not have the speed, strength, or accuracy of shots to immediately break down a strong bunker/rope-a-dope strategy. (It is amazing to see the differences between men and women PKs – night and day.) And it is much easier to negate your opponent’s strengths than work with your own strengths, especially if they are weaker than your opponents. It may be a good strategy for many teams to use a bunker-type strategy, but it produces boring, ugly soccer games. (Basically Sweden was happy with a 0-0 draw in the QF. That is both boring and poor sportsmanship.) Because it makes sense, I expect to see the Netherlands use a rope-a-dope plus counter-attack strategy against USWNT on Sunday. USWNT gets frustrated and very impatient when confronted with a compact defense, which was there downfall in the Swedish match.

    Getting back to the Hope Solo saga, one person astutely said: “Anything short of “Sweden played a great game, they were clearly better than us” would have earned her the same treatment she is receiving now.” Solo should not have said anything and like her coach go into hiding. Just pretend it was an act of God not to be explained.

    And our own Steg suggested that Solo may have sacrificed herself to protect the dismal performances of her teammates: “Hope’s words have taken the heat off Alex, Carli and Christen, so Hope judged her words to perfection if that was her aim.” I would add Jill Ellis to that list.

    • Steglitz49

      The only item in your piece worth reading is your last paragraph. Your long 3rd paragraph is utter drivel and makes you as sore a loser as Hope.

      Your comment that –“Basically Sweden was happy with a 0-0 draw in the QF” — is way off the mark.

      Sweden entered the QF match after a 1-5 loss to Brazil, their worst ever defeat, and with weak performances against both South-Africa and China. The USA as reigning World Champions and with the POTY in the line-up were always mega-favorites. The US proceeded to control the ball. Sweden hung on for grim death.

      Your follow-on comment — “That is both boring and poor sportsmanship” — also shows that you do not understand anything. The purpose of playing the QF is to get through to the SF. This Sweden succeeded in against expectations.

      The QF match changed when Stina Blackstenius scored from off Lisa Dahlkvist’s through ball, which split the defense. With a proper ref crew Sweden would have won 1-0 in regulation and certainly 2-1 in extra time. That incompetent crew may have lost Sweden the gold in the final.

      • guest

        “You do not understand anything” Sweden played for the draw and PK’s because they knew they couldn’t compete with the US on the pitch. It may not have been bad sportsmanship, but it did produce less attractive soccer.

        The main fault, though, lies with FIFA for setting the format. If they just let the teams play for a golden goal after 90 minutes, there would be fewer bunkers and more exciting back-and-forth play.

        Why do we have a central authority like FIFA governing soccer anyway? Why not let the soccer federation hosting the tournament decide how KO games will be decided, whether by PK’s or by golden goals?

        • mockmook

          I’d say only the very poorest teams play for a 0-0 tie (and the very poorest teams won’t make it into a KO round).

          SWE, I’m certain, anticipated capitalizing on a USA error to score on a counter-attack — a tie was acceptable, but they were trying to win.

          • Gary Diver

            Getting through the knockout round requires a team to win either 3 or 4 successive matches against top teams. The probability a tournament is always small and the best strategy should be to maximize that probability for that is all one can control going into each game. (Even USWNT had only about 35% probability of winning OG16 going into the knockout phase so the probability of USWNT winning was against them.)

            If a team can play for a 0-0 draw and get to a shootout the probability of winning that game instantly changes to nearly 50%. Teams should do a Mark Parsons and use 5 defenders and let their opponents get frustrated. The more frustrated they get the harder it is to break the bunker defense.

          • Steglitz49

            The Miracle on Grass aka the Bomb in Brasilia can be seen as a Stalingrad of WoSo in which Sweden played the role of the Red Army and the US the other side.

            After the group matches, the US’s probability of winning was even higher than before the tournament started. Only Brazil was seen as a potential contender.

            It is a condemnation and disgrace of the USWNT that they could not beat Sweden. The US were the overwhelming favorites going in. They failed miserably. Hope’s gamesmanship threw away any lingering sympathy for them.

          • mockmook

            I still believe that the SWE players went into those games with the object of winning the game without PKs — they had belief that their strategy could not only hold down the opponent, but that it would give them counter-attack opportunities.

          • Gary Diver

            Obviously every team would like to win. That is a given. Strategies should adjust the odds to maximize the probability of not losing. Not losing is more important than winning.

            What Sweden did to the US at OG16 was similar to what Mark Parsons did to Seattle just before the Olympics. And he used 5 defenders in his compact defense. And in the next game against Seattle he played a straight-up open game and lost. He would have been better often again playing a 5 defender compact defense strategy.

            Counter-attacks usually work when the other team gets frustrated and press in a way that leaves them vulnerable. (That is exactly what happened to France when Portugal scored the late counter-attack goal against them at Euro 16 final.) Sweden’s counter-attacks were dangerous and eventually successful simply because Ellis refused to adjust her defense. She and her team were impatient and frustrated. The coach and the team captain should never let their team get impatient and frustrated.

          • Steglitz49

            We’ve got it long ago. You are an American who is a sore loser.

          • Steglitz49

            Verily and forsooth.

            The US was so dominant and Sweden lost a player early to an injury.

          • Gary Diver

            I respectfully disagree. A compact defence strategy is the soccer equivalence to the Maginot Line. Counter-attackes are only successful when the other team gets so impatient and afraid of a shootout that they advance their forces (using military analogy) without defending their backline. This is exactly what happened when Portugal scored the late goal against France in the Euro 16 final. France desperately wanted to avoid a shootout and their impatience was their defeat. Same with USWNT. They did not want a shootout with Sweden and their impatience led to their defeat.

            At the beginning of the match, Sundhage would have been pleased to end up with a shootout while Ellis would have been terrified by that same prospect. In the end, Ellis’ fears were justified.

          • Steglitz49

            “Drogba forever in their hearts!”

            The massive favorites USA failed to defeat the written-off Swedes. That is the long and the short of it. Even with the inept referees on their side, the US failed.

            Start another topic or watch some hockey!

          • Steglitz49

            With a competent ref crew Sweden would have won by playing. Sweden was almost robbed of a victory.

            The draw in play means that sweden did not advance as much in the rankings as they should have and the US did not fall below Germany.

        • Steglitz49

          FIFA tried using the Golden Goal for a dozen years. The first ever Golden Goal was scored by Oliver Bierhoff in the Euro-96 Final. Nia Künzer won WC-03 for Germany with a Golden Goal. I seem to remember Carli’s goal in OG-08 was a Golden goal. That may well have been the last Golden Goal in soccer. I seem to remember Liliam Thuram scoring a golden goal in 1998, maybe two even.

          FIFA was founded in 1904, that is 112 years ago. The US joined FIFA in 1914.

          Soccer belongs to the world. It is reasonable that it has a world organization.

          • guest

            What is the argument against the golden goal?

          • Steglitz49

            Ask FIFA. They gave it a try for 12 years or so, then abandoned it.

            FIFA adopted the pso and have kept faith with it.

          • guest

            Then let the hosting country decide how they would like to run the tournament.

          • Steglitz49

            FIFA is the governing body of soccer. They decide. Live with it.

            Individual FAs have a lot of leeway but generally they stick close to FIFA’s advise. Rules have to be obeyed, of course.

          • guest

            That’s a top-down system of governance. I’m talking about a federal system where the individual states are given more autonomy and control.

          • Steglitz49

            Only a few games are truly world games. After soccer, cricket is probably the most commonly played team game on account of the populations of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

            In the case of golf, the R&A and the USGA together govern the sport of golf worldwide, operating in separate jurisdictions but sharing a commitment to a single code for the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status and Equipment Standards. The R&A governs worldwide, outside of the United States and Mexico, with the consent of 152 organisations from amateur and professional golf and on behalf of over 30 million golfers in 138 countries.

            In Swimming it is FINA and in equestrianism it is FES and in skiing it is the FIS except for biathlon where it is the IBU. For figure skating it is the ISU and for gymnastics it is the FIG. And so on and so forth.

          • Chak Khan

            Individual Feds receives financial assistance from FIFA, they better follow FIFA’s rules.

          • Steglitz49

            There is a lot of leeway of what you do and how you do it within a nation but once cross-border play is involved, whether at club or national levels, standardized rules apply.

            The biggest source of revenue to a federation is doing well in the men’s world cup. After that it is probably the Euro’s. Doing well in the Champions League makes benefit for clubs, not federations.

          • Guest

            I like the “golden goal” in the college game. I hope they keep it. I also like the the referee controlling the clock so there is no add-on time. I guess we all have are own preferences.

          • Steglitz49

            Your point is well taken that FIFA could look at the rules used in college soccer and see which might be worth introducing.

            To be fair to FIFA, as I typed elsewhere, FIFA used the Golden Goal for 12-13 years and then abandoned it.

            The Fourth Official — not to be confused with the Fourth Estate or the Forth Bridge — and the referee together decide how much time to add on. It used to be that the ref him/herself decided this and we did not know how long the so-called “injury time” was. The system with announcing the time is not that old. Less than 25 years I would guess.

          • John

            I would love to see the reintroduction of the old NASL shootouts.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJEnwi7otu0

        • JL

          FIFA tried the Golden Goal for years, and nothing changed. Teams were more afraid of giving up a goal, so they were even more cautious than before.

      • Gary Diver

        Inferior teams in knockout games playing for 0-0 draws to get to a shootout is not beautiful soccer. As I mentioned earlier women do not have the speed, strength, or accuracy of shots to immediately break down a strong bunker/rope-a-dope strategy as well as men could break that strategy down.

        If playing for a 0-0 draw is the best option for a team lacking the talent their opponent why shouldn’t they always play for a 0-0 draw.

        It is obvious that Sweden would have been happy with a 0-0 draw. That is not being a sore loser, that is a fact. Sweden was playing for a shootout. If USWNT had not become frustrated and sacrificed their own defense, the outcome of the Swedish game would have been a 0-0 draw.

        Sweden had a 50% probability of winning a shootout but less than a 30% probability of beating USWNT playing a straight-up open game. (Sweden used a similar strategy that Marks Parsons used against Seattle in his last game before OG16 when he used 5 defenders.) If playing for 0-0 draws becomes a norm then a lot of people will stop caring.

        • Steglitz49

          That the US could not change their game plan and readjusted to the Sweden they had not expected to meet is the US’s own fault. Sweden cannot be faulted for America’s ineptness.

          The objective statistics of the match tell their own simple story:
          USA/Swe — Ball possession 64/36; Corners 12/3; Shots 27/6; SoG 6/2. In addition, the ball spent most of its time in the Swedish half.

          Sweden had no choice but defend and defend they did. Lars Lagerbäck would have been proud of them as he would have been of their prowess in counter attacking.

          “Drogba forever in our hearts”, it says on Chelsea’s flags. It is a reference to their Champions League win over Bayern Munich. To the Swedes, Lisa Dahlkvist seems to be their anointed though many would say that but for Jessica Samuelsson their cause would have been lost.

          0-0 draws serve their purposes. The Swedes showed their appreciation of their glorious lasses when 11,460 turned out on a midweek evening during school to watch them play Slovakia in an almost meaningless Euro qualifier.

    • Anouk

      Playing defense oriented soccer is not poor sportsmanship. Changing gloves during the PK is.

      The US usually does everything to win (including influencing the group settings of WCs). If they win regardless of how they win all fansgirls here are happy and never would complain about poor sportsmanship

      If they lose they are all whining about poor sportsmanship.

      Pathetic

      • Terry Lash

        I don’t entirely agree. Many complained about Wambach’s poor sportsmanship, particularly about her flopping to try to get an undeserved penalty shot. But she was also called out for her brutal tackle on Daniela in 2009. That tackle was directly in front of me and I believed at the time Wambach meant to hurt Daniela. That’s not sportsmanship in the extreme.

        • Anouk

          Agree. That’s examples of extremely poor sportsmanships.

          Obviously there are also examples of players of other nations

          Playing defensively is not an example though

        • ladywing

          I have read this entire thread and a lot of it revolves about how people feel about individual players, OK. Or that how old they are is more important than how they play.
          But Abby does not make herself taller by standing on a fallen team mate. That is poor sportsman like in the extreme.

      • Steglitz49

        Hear hear!

    • HOFCToDi

      Pro Football is Still America’s Favorite Sport

      theharrispoll.com/sports/Americas_Fav_Sport_2016.html

      • Steglitz49

        I note that women’s soccer is below men’s soccer in popularity. T

        he crude ratio is 3:1 in favor of the men’s game! This is in spite of all the success of USWNT over the years, including winning the WC in 2015 for the first time in 16 years. Brrr.

      • John

        Maybe it’s because I’m not in the US, but I am really surprised at the drop in popularity of Baseball since the 1980’s.

        What’s happened?

        • JL

          Baseball is still enormously popular, even though it has lost some of that popularity.

          I think part of it is the slow pace of games. The attention span of the average American is less now than it was 40 years ago, so more Americans are turning to sports that better suit their viewing interests. The growing interest in soccer is a beneficiary of that.

          • mockmook

            They have also slowed the game down (more time between innings, replays, pitching changes, etc.).

            Then there is the general fatigue with sports and broadcasts becoming about more than just the game.

  • HOFCToDi

    “Down here they say rattlesnakes don’t commit suicide.”

  • GT

    Off topic: I’m looking at the NWSL stats page and they have three columns; shots, SOG (shots on goal), and then SOG% (that is to say of all the shots you took, what percentage were “on-goal”. Shouldn’t they have a column showing the percentage that went in (i.e. goals)?!

    • Constant Weeder

      What I see is Goals in column 3, then Assists, then PKs, and then the three columns you mention.

      • GT

        Good point.

    • guest

      The stats page was better last year when they had tabs across the top of the page. The pdf format is best suited for large documents, or documents that need to be printed out, for example, legal documents. But if you want to make team-by-team comparisons, like when comparing team stats, the best format is one of tabs across the top of the page, where you can access each team with one click.

  • Guest

    Abby, the did not exactly look ‘good’ in 2012 when all they did was smack long ball and crosses towards the box from every spot on the field

  • newsouth

    no interest in anything the brute has to say!

  • mskillens

    Go home Abby you’re drunk!

    • Steglitz49

      It seems a common failing for many and various members of the USWNT, not just Abby. She is in good company.

      • Chak Khan

        Care to drop the names of the “many”?

  • NYRick

    So guys/girls, I ask:

    Was I right about Wambach?

    • Steglitz49

      Were you right about Christen Press? Judging by Brasilia, no.

      • HOFCToDi

        Ouch!

        • Steglitz49

          Thank you. Less is more, don’t you agree. No point flogging a dead horse, is there?

      • NYRick

        Press on her worse day is more likable and classy than Abby on her best day.

        As a player on the NT, Press has done rather well too (35 goals in 75 caps) all while vying for playing time at the marquee position on a very political team. For the past 4 years she has become a core member of the team and carries herself very well on and off the pitch. A missed PK doesn’t change that. When her career with the NT is over she will be remembered in a similar way as HAO, excellent player who worked very hard, was well liked by fans and teammates and a great role model for young fans and the USSF in general.

        Also I see you are forming a newfound bromance with your new friend, HOF. I guess you have forgotten all the times he referred to you as the “stupid Swedish troll.” I think it was about 267 times and counting.

        • mockmook

          I’m afraid Press will be nothing but an afterthought in the history of the WNT unless she does something spectacular in 2019 (and it is unlikely she will even get the opportunity).

          People will talk of HAO for generations.

          • DNG

            You’re probably right and that’s disappointing. I think Press has the tools to be a top player for the NT. Too often she hasn’t been used an a way that highlights her strengths. I’d start her up top with Horan in two forward formations. I think they’d make a formidable pair. I thought she was better than Morgan in the Thailand game even though I’ve stated that very little can be taken from that game.

          • NYRick

            Press needs these things to happen in 2017:

            1. Lloyd to go away. Not happening till 2020. Only a major injury will make that happen before then.
            2. Morgan to take 2017 off to start a family (maybe a possibility).
            3. Syd return in 2017 to be placed behind her now (and rightfully so) in the forward food chain.

            Since the strong possibility that all 3 will work against her and not happen, then she is destined to be a spot starter and late sub for the most of the duration of her career (whether that lasts one more year or three). If the 3 worked in her favor and she was made the focal point of the team (from a forward standpoint) with Pugh, Dunn and Heath remaining on the flanks, she would score plenty of goals against the competition the US typically plays. How she measured up in the big games would be entirely up to her, given the prospect that she is playing 90 at center forward.

          • DNG

            1. Lloyd needs to be gone yesterday. She’s a terrible player with an awful attitude. Team cancer and needs to leave.

            2. I’d keep Morgan around for promotional reason but she really is a bad fit for the direction the team is going. She doesn’t fit into a possession offense and you can see it in the games already. She doesn’t combine well with teammates around the edge of the box consistently and is often just waiting centrally for a high cross. Compare that with how Press works all around the box and is a shooting threat from all over. She was noticeably better finding runners in the box than Morgan. I still don’t think Press is a lone forward but would be a top class second forward.

            3. Leroux is the same player as Morgan except with more athleticism and less skill. I think it’s time to move on from her.

            I’d like to see a 3-5-2 tried with Morgan and Horan up top. Horan attacks balls in the air better than any other forward on the roster and is great at combining with teammates. My only reservation on Horan is her ability to adjust the quicker speed of play. I see signs of improvement but it’s a little slow. I also think there are times when she over dribbles. She’s often better when she releases the ball right away.

          • mockmook

            “She’s a terrible player ”

            C’mon. Try to be a little bit objective. Even against THA, 3 goals and 4 assists is not by luck.

          • DNG

            I don’t think she’s good enough to start for the NT. A three goal 4 assist game against Thailand where she was basically goal hanging the entire game does not impress me. There were lots of goals from broken plays and bad defense as well. I wasn’t impressed with Morgan’s performance either. She scored two goals on broken plays as well.

            Maybe I am being overly harsh but the test is how she performs against quality competition, not Thailand. In that respect I think she’s been poor since the WC final. What did she do at SBC this year or in any match against a quality team in the last year? I’ll go even more recent in the NWSL. How did she play against the Thorns? almost a complete non factor and the Dash had been in very good form up until that match.

            I thought she was poor at the Olympics as well. She doesn’t move well at all and often times against good teams it feels like the US is always outnumbered in central midfield. She has good instincts around goal but I don’t think the trade offs are worth it. Especially when the opposition is big and solid defensively.

          • mockmook

            Would you agree that she does very well against everyone except maybe the top 5 or 10 teams in the world? That isn’t a “terrible” player.

          • DNG

            I don’t think she’s a good footballer but perhaps terrible is a bit harsh. She wouldn’t be in my 23 if I was choosing a USWNT squad today based on who I thought were the best players right now or the last two years for that matter. I think there are better center midfielders and true forwards. She can still be useful on some NWSL teams but I would not replace any of Portland or Seattle’s CMs with Lloyd. Probably not Washington’s either.

          • NYRick

            I think HAO is a first ballot US Soccer HOFer. I don’t know if Press is playing one more year or three. But even if she did get 60+ more caps on the team, she would have to go on an absolute scoring tear during that time to remotely have anywhere near as memorable career as HAO. I get that. Also, HAO was getting caps at age 17 (different era for the team) and had a big head start to refine her game etc.

            I was more comparing the perception of both being remembered as hard working very good players who represented the team very well than anything else. Which I still think Christen will be well remembered. As for the generation line for HAO, I respectfully disagree a bit on that. I think that for this program is really only reserved for Mia, Akers, Abby, Solo, Lloyd and Morgan. Just my opinion.

  • Steglitz49

    Scotland, coached by the Swede Anna Signeul, have qualified for their first major tournament after 13 failed attempts. Well done the Scotch lasses!

    In the Scotch’s more recent attempts they had managed to reach the play-offs for both the Euros and the World Cup, so they were on track but, please, steal an extra bow. You’ve earned it.

    Portugal’s win over Finland, who are currently placed second in their group, means that Scotland, Belgium and Sweden will join England, France, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and Germany plus The Netherlands as hosts in qualification.

    Signeul’s side was beaten comprehensively by Iceland. They travel to Iceland on Tuesday.

  • Gary Diver

    Draw Controversy

    Playing for draws in knock-out matches is bad for the future of WoSo.

    Operative words: “knock-out matches” and “future of WoSo”. I am not concerned about group play matches nor with what is best for a single team.

    The fact is that Sweden came close to winning the OG16 gold medal with not winning a single match in their last 4 matches. Some posters claim that Sweden really was trying to win. Really? It is on record that Sundhage told her team captain not to try to beat China in their 0-0 draw.

    Sweden avoid a fourth consecutive draw by an own-goal. Imagine how people would feel if Sweden had drawn Germany and won the gold medal with a shootout? This would have been bad for WoSo in general.

    Shootouts are essentially a 50-50 proposition with the exception of Germany who for some reason almost never misses PKs. So Germany is the only team Sweden should have avoided a PK shootout. Sweden had a much less than 50-50 chance of winning against every other opponent. Every draw caused Sweden’s probability to instantly jump from around 30% to 50%. Based on probability a lesser talented team should use a compact bunker defense and don’t let the opposition get freely inside the box. Very few women have accurate 30+ yard distant shots that can score from a distance. It seems most distant shots are not even on frame.

    So from a coaches desire to avoid losing, a compact bunker-style defense against any team with superior individual talent makes sense. But interest in the game will decline if that becomes the norm and if tournaments are determined by shootouts which are more luck than skill.

    • Steglitz49

      Please, sore loser American, pick a new topic to drone on about. Did you know that the price for piglets has gone up? Discuss its impact on the NHL Cup.

      Sweden did not play for a draw against the US. Sweden was forced to defend. They knew they would need to do that. They did it admirably, in spite of losing a player to injury early on.

      The harsh reality is that the mega-favorites USA failed against the written-offs Sweden. Live with it.

      • Gary Diver

        Just a simple question. Sweden came close to winning the OG16 gold medal without winning a single knock-out match. Do you have a problem with a team winning a major tournament without winning a single knock-out match?

        • Steglitz49

          No. The structure of the tournament is public and the laws of the game clear.

          • Gary Diver

            It is always easier to negate your opponents strengths than attack with your own lesser strengths. Hockey and basketball went through phases where the defensive strategies were destroying the aesthetics of the game. The time clock in basketball was an attempt to void stall tactics. Hockey had to institute new rules to prevent constant stalemates. Why should soccer be immune to challenges to open play that other sports had to address in order to give the public a game that they want to watch?

          • Steglitz49

            This is soccer, which also has modified its laws over time to make the game more appealing to its audience.

            Hockey is hockey with umpteen matches at each stage during the playoffs

          • Gary Diver

            What about basketball? Not only was the time clock instituted to prevent negative basketball, but at least in the NBA, zone defenses are illegal for the same reason.

          • Steglitz49

            Basket is basket and soccer is soccer and never the twain shall meet.
            The heart of American soccer fans have long been sore and long is like to be!

          • Gary Diver

            It is amazing that out of the thousands of soccer matches that are played only a handful survive the dustbin of history to be remembered and talked about 5, 10, or 20 years after the event.

          • Steglitz49

            That applies to each of the countries and each of the clubs so it becomes a lot of matches all things considered.

            Where do you want to start? How far back?

            On an International level the problem for the men is that the Dream Team already played. It is Brazil in its golden period but the 1970 team is best remembered.

            As for the ladies, the Dream team remains the 2011 Japan.

            As for men’s WC finals, you can start with 1954 and even 1950 is remembered for being such an upset.

          • Gary Diver

            What would the reaction be if Portugal wins the World Cup in 2018 exactly in the same fashion as they did the Euro 16? Would most people find that satisfying or unsatisfying?

          • Steglitz49

            People in Portugal would rejoice and drink the country dry of Port and any Cava on offer.

            The rest of the world, of course, would be disappointed.

            The silver lining in Euro-16 was Iceland and Wales.

            The coach of Iceland, Lars Lagerbäck, was an expert commentator for Swedish TV in Rio. The previous coach of Sweden, Dennerby, was also in Rio for that TV channel. Those two may well have met with Pia though it has not been mentioned.

          • mockmook

            “Why should soccer be immune to challenges to open play that other sports had to address in order to give the public a game that they want to watch?”

            Because nobody but imperialistic, ham-fisted, instant gratification Americans (like you) wants to change football.

      • HOFCToDi

        I thought the poster in question was Canadian?

        • Steglitz49

          He is an American who lives and works in Canada. He may be married to a Canadian, though.

      • Gary Diver

        It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races. – Mark Twain

      • Gary Diver

        Sorry if I upset you. My intention was to only start an intelligent conversation. A side issue is whether shootouts, which are a combination of skill, mind games, and luck, but mostly luck are the best way to end draws. The fact that FIFA considers draws to be draws even after the shootout tells us that there is a problem. Winning shootshots really are like kissing your cousin. And remember what Pele said about scoring with PKs?

        In terms of strategy, most people here have been unhappy with John Herdman’s rugby soccer. Now he isn’t breaking any rules and as long as referees let his players get a way with murder, why shouldn’t he play dirty soccer if it gets him victories?

        • Steglitz49

          AET you have to decide by some means.

          In Euro-13 they had to draw lots between Denmark and Russia after the group games. denmark won the toss and went on to put out France who had thrashed Russia in their group match!

          • Gary Diver

            In hockey they are moving away from shootouts, which are now the tie-breakers of last resort. In NHL, ties in regular games are followed by 3 on 3 overtimes, while playoff games end with 5 on 5 overtimes until somebody scores. In a similar fashion, there should be some way to end soccer matches on the field.

            Here is PK issue in a nutshell. Women keepers, because they are not as fast or strong as men, need to guess which way the shooter is going before the shooter kicks the ball. So immediately by luck 50% of the shots go in. Then of the other 50%, about half at stopped by a combination of a poor placement or great save. So one expects and it usually happens that 4 out of the 5 PKs score and 1 PK failure. In theory that is what should happen and in practice that is what usually does happen. So if any keeper can save/prevent 2 PK shots the match is usually over. In the Sweden match, Press’ shot was the second miss which is usually the kiss of death. I feel that Ellis moving Lloyd from 5th position to ahead of Press played with her mind and that one decision in the end lost the game for USWNT.

            The problem with PK shootouts is that the match is not won by a team, it is lost by the other team. Not a satisfactory way of ending a match.

          • Steglitz49

            This new World Cup Hockey has just started and the US just lost 0-3 to (the rest of) Europe. The teams competing apart from those 2 are; Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Czech Rep and a US/Can team of U23 (I think).

            In short, IceHockey is a sport limited to a few countries. It is not as limited as Grid-Iron (or baseball?) but not far off.

            Soccer ought to use “blood replacements” the way Rugby has done for many years now. Soccer does not use a sin bin, the way Rugby has imported from Hockey.

            Soccer is soccer and moves in its own mysterious ways to keep its fans onside. So far they have judged right.

        • guest

          fifa football does not believe in evolution. fifa believes in the
          creation story.

    • mockmook

      “Operative words: “knock-out matches” and “future of WoSo”. I am not concerned about group play matches nor what is best for a single team.”

      “It is on record that Sundhage told her team captain not to try to beat China in their 0-0 draw.” [Where?]

      SWE v CHN was a Group game.

      • Steglitz49

        He is sort of right about the Swe-China match. Late in the game one of the Swedes (Seger?) asked Pia if they should make a final effort to win the match and Pia advised that they defend instead.

        There was not much to chose between, playing Germany or USA. Like chosing between pest and cholera. On paper and judging by the tournament Germany were slightly easier so Sweden were dsadvantaging themsleves on paper by drawing.

      • Gary Diver

        I realize that the Sweden/China match was group play. Just presenting evidence of Sundhage’s attitude towards playing for a draw.

        I could look up the quote by Caroline Seger if you don’t trust me. But it does exist.

        • mockmook

          “presenting evidence of Sundhage’s attitude towards playing for a draw.”

          You have presented no evidence. You made an assertion.

          • Gary Diver

            The day after the Sweden/China match there was an article in the Swedish press part of which got translated into English as “Late in the match against China, Seger asked Sundhage if they should go for a goal. Sundhage: 0-0 is good.”

          • Steglitz49

            Which it was. A loss would have meant curtains and avoiding losing was therefore Sweden’s priority.

          • Gary Diver

            The English translation is only part of a longer version of the conversation between Seger and Sundhage which I have never seen translated into English in its entirely. But the bottom line was the same: Sundhage told Seger not to try to win the match.

          • Steglitz49

            Which was the strategically the smart thing to do.

          • Gary Diver

            Not arguing it wasn’t smart for her to do. Just feel that the beautiful game is promoted when teams attempt to win.

          • Steglitz49

            You are reverting to drivel and garbage. The aim of the game is to advance to the next stage. This was achieved.

            Remember David Ginola?

            Sweden was in a tight place but survived by the skin of their teeth. Well done Sweden.

            America under-estimated Sweden. They had good reasons. Like USA vs Team Europe tonight, it seems.

          • Gary Diver

            One man’s garbage is another man’s antiques.

          • Steglitz49

            Remember David Ginola?

          • Gary Diver

            No, other than he ran for FIFA president last year.

          • Steglitz49

            David Ginola lost France the qualification to a World Cup by being needlessly clever. Too clever by half, as the Brits say. He was hoisted by his own petard.

            Briefly, had the score stayed as it was, France were through. In dying seconds, instead of playing safe and running out the clock, he tried to score but the opposition got the ball, ran the length of the field and scored.

            Dingbat. Lost focus. Did not attend to the primary aim.

          • mockmook

            NO, she (apparently) told her that they didn’t need to go for a goal. She did not forbid her from going for a goal.

            Your theory makes no sense anyway. SWE would have to take an opportunity at goal (if it arose) in case CHN scored.

          • Chak Khan

            Something is always lost in translation. A good friend of mine is a professional translator; not an interpreter. The two jobs are very different.

          • Steglitz49

            The bottom line is that Sweden took the silver and Germany won the gold by an own goal. Such is life. Canada took the bronze.

          • Chak Khan

            The energy is better used in playing the game. Leave the trash talk to the men. It’s in them.

          • Steglitz49

            Que?! Facts are facts and holy; opinion is free and easy.

        • Steglitz49

          At the stage you describe it was more important for Sweden not to lose than to win. Pia, therefore, made the sensible move and decided on defense.

          Smart woman, that Pia. Made a star out of Hope.

    • HOFCToDi

      In other news, the 2016 Summer Olympics were the third most successful for the United States as far as the medal count (121) and the most successful not held in the United States.

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_at_the_2016_Summer_Olympics

      • Steglitz49

        Sweden got 2 golds, 6 silvers and 3 bronzes.

        By population, the UK was the most successful nation as I understand it.

        • HOFCToDi

          So what?

          Maya DiRado won as many gold medals as the country of Sweden.

          Maya DiRado
          Gold – 2
          Silver – 1
          Bronze – 1

          • Steglitz49

            But it was the picture of Sarah and Jeanette consoling Kate that flew around the world.

          • HOFCToDi

            Wrong MORON!

            theguardian.com/sport/2016/aug/21/new-zealand-and-us-runners-awarded-for-sportsmanship

            You are a DUMBASS!

          • Steglitz49

            I stayed in the pool with the sport you brought up but your point is well taken nevertheless.

          • HOFCToDi

            You are a blithering idiot, a clueless moron, and a worthless troll.

            Review the International Fair Play Committee Awards before spewing your garbage.

          • Steglitz49

            Remember the orienteering world championship a few years back? The leading runner fell and injured himself badly and was bleeding to death. The runner behind him stopped and staunched the flow. The next runner ran to the nearest road in the hope of flagging down a car. The fourth runner helped the second carry the chap to the road. The race was won by the fifth runner.

          • Steglitz49

            Sweden won the soccer fair play. Japan won in in 2011 but then they walked off with the trophy too.

          • HOFCToDi
        • sudeep das

          http://www.medalspercapita.com/

          good reference material as per medals per capita

          • Steglitz49

            It depends if you simply add the medals together or whether you do it by gold, sliver and bronze.

      • Gary Diver

        Yes, it was good that you mentioned this yesterday. And I replied yesterday the Olympics would have been more successful for US if IOC had any guts to kick out Russia for state-sponsored cheating.

        • Steglitz49

          It probably would have been more successful for a whole slew of countries, not just the USA.

          • Gary Diver

            True words.

          • HOFCToDi

            Janet Evans beats the East German CHEATERS!

            youtube.com/watch?v=4G7jj4Eag7s

          • Dreamer

            What make you believe the US swimmers (even today) are not cheating?

            Olympics is for countries such as Russia, China, the US and in former days the GDR one area to show that they are superior. Whatever it takes.

            The US is likely much more advanced in how to dope without getting caught.

            But dream on. Celebrate all the gold medals and celebrate all the new world records of the US swimmers who are even much faster than all the other doped swimmers

          • Steglitz49

            DDR, please. That open air prison will always be the DDR.

    • Hood

      If you don’t like the sport look for another one. Billions like it as it played today (including how the knock out matches are played). If you can’t cope with the US losing go for Baseball

      • Steglitz49

        Hear hear. Or Grid-iron.

  • truf

    Wait, so woman CAN play together and respect each other but not get along. CAN YOU GUYS BELIEVE IT? 99’ers, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? What horrible horrible people at teammates. Woman on the WNT should supportive each other and best friends at all times..right? right guys? otherwise they can’t win, because they are women.

    • Gary Diver

      This is a can of worms. First issue is that there have been a lot of studies that look at how groups of women work together differently than groups of men. Second issue is the general issue of whether you need to like somebody you work with in order to get along with them to work well with them.

      There is only 3 months left to the USWNT/USSF contract negotiations. Solo has been turfed off USWNT and Rapinoe is under the spotlight. It will be a test if USWNT can hang together during in the next 3 months and survive as a unit that we’ve known them in the past.

      • Steglitz49

        The new CBA will have some impact but it is hard to see American women not playing for the NT if asked. Granted those who are ill or pregnant can’t but the rest will not refuse the opportunity to represent the USA.

        • Gary Diver

          But the “One Nation, One Team” mantra may be stressed during the next 3-4 months.

          • HOFCToDi

            The USMNT seem to behave normally. Must be that pay to play structure.

          • Steglitz49

            What happens Oct-Feb? The ski season — X-country, biathlon and alpine gets going) — as well as hockey. Not sure about the cricket calendar but I guess something down under could be brewing.

    • Paul Klee

      It appears I have Blocked the right people, i’m sure I’m missing some insightful, comments?

      • Steglitz49

        You may have blocked the wrong people but I can’t vouch for the comments being insightful. Repetitive more like it. And HOFCToDi is off his leash now.

      • Paul Klee

        Total of 48 blocks before next unblocked comment.

        • Steglitz49

          As long as you blocked the right persons, you are ahead of the game. The chances are that you blocked the wrong people and are having a boring read.

          The fur has been flying. No holds have been barred. No quarter has been given and none has been asked.

          BTW Europe 3, USA 0.

          • Gary Diver

            Can you be sure you haven’t been blocked?

          • HOFCToDi

            I want to be number one on the list!

            cdn-s3.si.com/s3fs-public/2016/08/15/michael-phelps-simone-biles-katie-ledecky-sports-illustrated-cover-2016-rio-olympics-1.jpg

            Poor Pressie Pooh! No SI cover photo shoot for you!

          • Steglitz49

            If you are Number 1, please can I be Number 2. The question is: who is Number 6?

          • Steglitz49

            It is sometimes hard to make sense of the EQ. It goes with the territory.

        • guest

          I guess some folks need safe zones:)

          • Paul Klee

            Only 4 or 5 blocked, it’s just easier not to have to scroll through the various blather.

    • HOFCToDi

      The older the members of the USWNTPA get, the more immature and irresponsible they become.

      • Excuses..Excuses

        She’ll throw anyone under the bus for a buck. Have we forgotten the MagicJack era?

  • Gary Diver

    Does anybody care about US youth soccer? Whenever U17 and U20 topics are brought up there seems little interest in carrying on a discussion. I am surprised that there seems so little interest in the future of American WoSo on this site.

    • anon

      people here mostly seem interested in the current uswnt, and everyone knows the current crop is probably mostly going to the next world cup. history says they bring in a handful of new players maybe about 5 or 6. i agree there isn’t much interest in anything else which is a shame- young players, college, int’l, etc.

    • HOFCToDi

      What’s Wrong With American Youth Soccer Development

      howlermagazine.com/whats-wrong-america-spring-2016/

      • Gary Diver

        If U20 doesn’t score tomorrow, it will be at least 3 matches without a goal. That is really a bad basis to go to the World Cup in November.

        • HOFCToDi

          “There is no quick fix. A country so large with so many sports competing for a young player’s interest has development issues that will outlive most of us.”

          Student-Athlete Participation
          1981-82 to 2014-15
          NCAA Sports Sponsorship and Participation Rates Report

          ncaa.org/sites/default/files/Participation%20Rates%20Final.pdf

          2014-15 Participation Study – Women’s Sports
          Division I
          Championship Sports
          Page 77

          • Steglitz49

            You are mighty knowledgeable. Little short of amazing.

            What is your background? College coach? Sports administrator? Sports journalist? Grandparent? A gnome of Zürich’s?

          • HOFCToDi

            Early Retirement
            Masters Mechanical Engineering
            Invested in MSFT, INTC, DELL, STX, WDC in early 1990s

          • Steglitz49

            Smart person. I wish I were you — financially at least. So, you are a sort of gnome of Zurich.

            Which college did you go to or was it evening classes?

          • HOFCToDi

            Big Ten University

          • Steglitz49

            I am going to guess Purdue.

          • HOFCToDi

            Missed out on the biotech craze in the early 1990s.

          • Steglitz49

            I thought that Roche owned (most of) the shares in Genentech? Anyway, as a mechanical engineer you are forgiven.

        • #1Fan

          I thought Pugh and Sanchez were the quick fix ? [Joke] I did not watch the Eng game but Pugh played 2H no ?

          • DNG

            Pugh played for about 15 minutes of the England game and I believe was the center forward.

        • Hans Castorp

          They didn’t score. Pugh started but subbed out at 30m.

    • #1Fan

      you know I do 🙂

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  • Steglitz49

    U15. Calling all U15s. Any of you who have a daughter, grandaughter, niece or simply know someone in the right age-group, there amy be a a chance i London for her.

    This is because Tottenham Hotspurs Ladies Club in north London are looking for a young GK. Spurs Ladies’ current U15 team are a successful squad. They moved up from U14 last season and are looking for a goalkeeper. They, allegedly, is one of the largest female football clubs in London and by all accounts this U15 team is friendly and well run.